At the pinnacle of motorsport
In 2014, Spike completed an F1 test in the Sahara Force India VJM07-4 at Abu Dhabi.
In November 2014, Spike tested with Sahara Force India Formula One Team, a welcome opportunity to demonstrate his capability at the highest levels of motorsport. Having won the rookie class of the British Formula Three Championship in his debut season only three years before, Spike was joined by reigning GP2 series champion Jolyon Palmer in testing the VJM07 as the team looked to prepare for the 2015 season.
Team Principal & Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya, said Spike’s test was part of their ongoing commitment to recognising and rewarding young talent: “We have a strong track record of identifying up-and-coming prospects… Spike has worked hard to get his chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills.”
Across 89 laps, Spike did exactly that – after making the initial adjustment from Formula 3 to F1 machinery, which represents a significant leap in both power and downforce. With lap times continuing to fall across the day, Spike’s final time around Yas Marina Circuit was an impressive 1m44.944s. While this was 2.320 seconds off the day’s quickest time – set by Pascal Wehrlein in the title-winning Mercedes – it was a mere 0.4 of a second off GP2 champion Palmer’s time in the same car the previous day.
Tom McCullogh, chief engineer for Force India, praised Spike’s efforts, saying he “really made the most of his first opportunity in a Formula One car… he adapted quickly and gradually built up his confidence and speed throughout the test.” He also gave some detail on the technical aspects of the day: “We used the early part of the day to complete the aero work, [while] the rest of the programme involved some mechanical test items. With relatively few rule changes between this season and the next, the mileage completed over the last couple of days has proved valuable for exploring some design avenues for next year.”
The day was valuable for Spike also, fulfilling a dream that so few racers – let alone people in general – get to fulfill. With the day being mutually beneficial, Spike is hoping to work with the team again in future.
See Fox Sports article here.
Completing 89 laps at the famed Yas Marina Circuit and finishing the day in 6th fastest position – one spot ahead of Daniel Ricciardo – Spike was only 0.4 of a second behind GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer’s fastest lap set in the same car on the previous day. He was 2.320 seconds off the quickest time of the day, set by Pascal Wehrlein in the title-winning Mercedes.